Meet the Team
Rebecca Massie: Founder
I am a mental health activist, peer-provider, writer, and public speaker from San Francisco. I come to each of these positions after many years as a patient in the mental health system. My experiences as a patient allow for me to help others feel less alone as they navigate the mental health system.
I founded Better Because Collective because of the many stories I had heard of how people were able to better their lives through the skills they learned throughout their mental health journeys. I searched for an online community where I could immerse myself in these stories but, to my surprise, was unable to find anything like this. It was clear to me that people not only needed to share their own stories, but that they needed to read the stories of others in order to help one another grow and heal.
So, I created a platform for people to share, celebrate, and learn from personal stories of post-traumatic growth. My hope is that Better Because Collective will help individuals in the midst of mental health experiences to find hope, and that it will serve as a teaching tool for mental health practitioners as they learn about post-traumatic growth.
Adriana Fracchia Leigh: Operations Manager
With a background in operations, strategy, and project management, I have been working with product development teams for over a decade to build services and products that delight, excite and ultimately support users from all walks of life.
I am honored to be working with Better Because Collective, as I deeply believe that sharing our stories can directly impact how we relate to ourselves and others. Hearing one story and relating to its author has the potential to help someone grappling with similar struggles. In this way, honest and raw storytelling can be a catalyst to change and healing.
In my time outside of volunteering and my paid job, I find comfort in taking walks with my two dogs, meditating, and writing. I also love chocolate chip cookies.
Heather Austin: Editor/Submissions Manager
I’m an inquisitive, open-minded, and easy-going Floridian who lives in Japan. I feel extremely lucky to have found my dream career: teaching English as a foreign language. Having also traveled to 20 countries, my unique background allows me to view the lived experiences of others through a different lens and interpret them in a meaningful way. With a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and a fascination with language, I understand the power of words and – thanks to my own experiences with mental wellness – how important they are in the healing process.
There is undeniable value in being heard and sharing one’s own experience of personal growth. I joined Better Because Collective to assist and support others in developing their stories in their own words, and, just as importantly, to help overcome the stigma surrounding mental health.
Gabrielle Joyce: Story Publisher
I am a remote software developer who’s part Pennsylvanian resident part nomad. I apply my technical knowledge as well as my previous teaching experience to connect with my physical and virtual community. As a suicide loss survivor, I know the confusion of grief and anger. Healing is a continuous process and something everyone is experiencing in various degrees. We can unite around that shared experience and others to support and acknowledge one another’s individual needs. I believe in the Better Because Collective’s mission to push against the stigma of mental illness.